SBD/Jan. 17, 2011/Facilities

Final Phase Of Superdome Renovations To Add Seats, Lounges

Final phase of Superdome renovations will close the facility for five months

The final phase of the Superdome remodeling will begin on Jan. 24, a “five-month project aimed at further sprucing up the building that has undergone massive upgrades since Hurricane Katrina wrecked the 36-year-old venue” in ’05, according to Nakia Hogan of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Workers will make “drastic changes to the lower bowl of the stadium, reconfiguring it to increase seating by 3,500, widening the plaza concourse, building two bunker club lounges and adding additional concession stands.” Also part of the $85M renovation that was “put in place as part of the 15-year lease extension between the Saints and the state, crews will start tearing down the temporary stairs that lead from Champions Square to the Dome, replacing them with permanent steps.” In addition, workers “will complete the installation of express elevators that will taxi coaches and media from the ground level of the stadium to the press box.” The construction will close the stadium “for the next five months,” as Superdome officials said that the “work is scheduled for completion by June 13.” Crews will “move the sideline seats about 10 feet closer to the playing field while squaring off the stands, giving the lower bowl a squared look instead of an oval setup.” Plans also “call for two 7,500-square-foot bunker lounges on each side of the stadium.” The lounges will be equipped with “flat-screen TVs, granite counter tops and full-service bars,” and will “serve 4,500 fans, whose old plaza seats will be upgraded to premium tickets.” The concourses on the plaza level “will be extended, closing in space between the concourse and plaza seating to add new restrooms and concession areas.” Saints co-Owner & Exec VP Rita Benson LeBlanc said, "Phase by phase, this will be a brand new stadium. … Creating these additional club seats will allow us to remain competitive in attracting future Super Bowls” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/16).

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